It’s the time of year for fun and merriment, but the holiday season is also a time when stress levels increase. Sure, there’s the fun stuff, like festive gatherings and all the food and drink. But there’s also the not so fun stuff, like financial and family stress that can creep in as soon as the holiday lights are strung. Some lifestyle challenges include:
- Extra errands and socializing cut into your “me” time – so you have less time to take care of yourself
- Financial and emotional stress can tax your adrenal glands
- The sugary and fatty food, and those extra cocktails further stress your digestive system
- A full schedule means that you have less time to sleep; and alcohol can disrupt the quality of your sleep and prevent you from reaching REM phases, meaning that you won’t reach those cycles of deep, restorative sleep
All of these things lead to these noticeable symptoms – this is your body on holiday stress:
- Digestive distress
- Less sleep
- Lower immunity
- Feeling “worn down” and burned out
It’s easy to get off track when it comes to your health during the holiday season (this is why gym memberships spike come January).
So what can you do to avoid these problems? Should you say no to all gatherings and avoid parties entirely? Or, should you just accept that your health will suffer during this stressful season and go “all in”?
Neither! We believe that you should love how you feel every day, by taking care of your body by eating good food and supplementing well.
Holistic Tips for Dealing with Stress
Eat good food. Party food stresses your body while real, whole foods nourish. Plant foods, rich in phytonutrients and polyphenols, nourish your adrenal glands and fight the stress response. Aim to eat a variety of colours of fruits and vegetables. Even if your schedule is jam-packed, you can boost your intake of plant foods with greens+ – formulated to offset the stress that an acidic diet puts on the body (if you’re wondering if holiday food is acidic, the answer is YES). And research backs this up: University of Toronto’s Department of Nutritional Sciences found that greens+ increased the activity of an important antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase. Chronic stress can lower glutathione peroxidase, which compromises nerve cell communication, mood and energy levels.
Love your gut. Holiday party food and drink can wreak havoc on your digestive system by compromising the health of your gut bacteria and irritating the delicate mucosa that lines it. This, coupled with holiday stress, can set you up for a not so fun digestive situation. Eating plenty of whole foods is of huge benefit to gut health, but using fermented supplements can actually help to strengthen gut health. Fermentation amplifies the nutrition of food by increasing the nutrient profile, and bioavailability of a variety of nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium and zinc. Try our fermented vegan proteins+ or fermented Greek proteins+, which provide your body with easily absorbed protein that will also help to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable.
Get your adaptogens on. Adaptogens are a class of herb that help you to adapt to stress, and help your body regulate itself during stressful times. Adaptogens have been getting lots of buzz lately for their stress-busting and beauty-boosting benefits, but we’ve always believed in the power of adaptogens! greens+ is formulated with licorice root and Siberian ginseng, two powerful adaptogens. Licorice root has a long history of medicinal use for countering fatigue, offering adrenal support and promoting healthy immune system functioning. It also boasts anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant polyphenols which ward off oxidative damage on the cells of the body. Siberian ginseng has been shown in studies to increase mental alertness, enhance work and athletic performance, and increase the body’s capacity to endure mental and physical stressors.
Prioritize sleep. Even if you can’t ensure a round eight hours of sleep per night, you can improve your sleep quality. Limit caffeine in the afternoon (try some greens+ extra energy instead). At night, stay away from screens for at least one hour before you tuck in to bed. For a super restorative sleep, take one capsule of sleep+ time release before you hit the hay. Fast-acting and non-addictive sleep+ is made from dual action ingredients. Passionflower is a herbal extract that helps to calm a busy mind, and time-release melatonin helps you reach that deeper sleep for longer.
Exercise. Exercise is one of the most surefire ways to reduce stress, as long as you match the type of exercise with your energy and fitness level. You don’t have to do Cross Fit every day, even a walk outside after lunch is great if that’s all that you have the time and energy for. When you stick to a regular fitness schedule, you’ll see many different benefits. Sure, with regular exercise you’ll see your stress levels lower and your mood improve. But exercise also keeps you to a healthy schedule: you’ll be less likely to overdo it at a party when you have a Pilates class scheduled the next morning.